A Guide to Marital Intimacy
An abridged version of Becoming the Husband Your Wife Thought She Married
“If you want to make a great marriage, it’s your choice!”
In the dance of marriage, two people can achieve happiness together when they are both happy as individuals. An enduring and intimate relationship is possible when a man and a woman retain their separate and distinct identities, and relate to each other as equals and with total honesty.
This is some of the insight that, early in his career as a gynecologist, Dr. Jim Schaller gained when he realized that most wives were unhappy, or at least disappointed in their marriagewhile most husbands needed to get in touch with buried feelings, especially in running the gauntlet from boyhood to manhood.
He saw that male control remains the primary reason for women’s frustration, depression and anger, and that equality and honestybased on loving kindness, warmth, attention, thoughtfulness, tenderness, and caringleads to respect, trust, and true companionship ... that is, what couples desire most in their relationship.
While intimacy may be the crowning jewel, day-to-day relationships are hard workbecoming more aware of ourselves and learning to listen and talk about feelings. Dr. Schaller’s message to husbands (and wives) is straightforward: “Love, honor, and appreciate yourself, as this is the ‘key’ to becoming a more honest, open, and responsible partner. So be prepared to work on yourself!”
“It is hard to think of a more popular, profound, engrossing book to help husbands and wives grow ever closer in an intimacy rooted in equality, freedom, and honesty… Though easily read, this is no simplistic primer, but invites profound reflection and prayer on its practical wisdom….” Rev. George A. Aschenbrenner, S.J., noted author on Ignatian Spirituality
“A well-presented practical guide for the husband of the 21st century...” Rev. Monsignor Arthur E. Rodgers, Pastor of the Basilica-Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
Table of Contents
First Things First
Building a Legacy of Love
Learn to love, honor and appreciate yourself first, if you want to do the work of becoming a more honest, open and responsible husband (or wife). Before you can love, or share without conditions what you have, you need to take care of yourself, or develop your own potential.
A lover wannabe needs to first recognize, accept and develop his own truths before he can share them with the one he loves. Those who counsel others in such matters, and then write about it, agree it is only by learning to be content with who we are, alone, that we can develop the capability to be happy with a spouse. Love, honor and appreciate yourself, if you are to become a better husband. Our greatest gift to our spouses, after the gift of complete acceptance of them as they are, is sharing our own truth, our own happiness.
The fine books1 providing helpful insights for those seeking a successful committed relationship share one constant principle, or one theme: we cannot attain and maintain a loving relationship unless we love, accept and respect who and what we are. That identical point will be repeated often in this book.
A corollary of the truth just stated: we are capable of loving, valuing, reverencing and cherishing another, only to the depth and extent that we know, love, value, reverence and cherish ourselves.
Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2011
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